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Kings of the diamond

Sierra College captures its first state baseball crown
By: Journal Sports Staff
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FRESNO – The strong right arms of sophomore pitchers Cameron Ray and Josh Crockett carried the Sierra College baseball team to its first-ever state championship Monday. Ray (12-3), coming off of just two days’ rest, allowed just one unearned run on two hits in 5 1/3 innings as the Wolverines topped Southwestern College of Chula Vista 6-2 at Fresno City College’s John Euless Ballpark. Crockett, the Wolverines’ closer, threw the final 4 1/3 innings and allowed just one run on four hits with two strikeouts. Sierra’s victory came on the heels of a 7-3 loss to Southwestern (40-14) earlier in the day. While the Wolverines’ pitchers kept the Jaguars off-balance in the championship game, Sierra’s offense jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. Freshman third baseman Alex Ancich drove in the Wolverines’ first run in the second inning when he singled home sophomore Ryan Knox. Sophomore first baseman Ryan Stevens belted a two-run home run in the third to give Sierra (39-15) a 3-0 advantage. The Wolverines increased their lead to 4-1 in the fourth when freshman catcher Jesse Olson’s sacrifice fly brought home sophomore designated hitter Brian Wright. An RBI single by Wright and a sacrifice fly by Anicich in the eighth made the score 6-1. Ray was named the California Community College State Championships’ Most Valuable Player. He went 2-0 during the tournament, allowing just four runs (three earned) over 12 1/3 innings with five strikeouts. Stevens, Knox and sophomore right fielder Logan Lotti each had sixth-inning RBIs in the first game for Sierra. Sophomore right-hander Tyler Graham took the loss in that contest after surrendering six runs in five-plus innings of work.